Is There a Role for Patent Medicine Vendors in Tuberculosis Control in Southern Nigeria?


  • Nkechi G Onyeneho Department of Sociology/Anthropology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
  • Joseph N Chukwu German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association Enugu



Patent medicine vendor, Tuberculosis, Nigeria


Patent medicine vendors (PMVs) are a ubiquitous feature of the informal health sector in Nigeria. A previ­ous study on healthcare-seeking behaviour of persons with chronic cough in southern Nigeria found that over 60% of respondents chose the PMV as a healthcare provider of first instance. This study sought to determine the willingness and capability of PMVs to play a role in the national tuberculosis (TB)-control effort. Study sites were selected through a multi-stage sampling process. In total, 388 PMVs, 17 princi­pal officers of PMV associations, and 17 community leaders were purposively selected. Sets of structured questionnaire were administered to the PMVs while information from the principal officers of PMV as­sociations and community leaders was elicited through in-depth interviews and focus-group discussions (FGDs). Quantitative data were collated using the Epi Info software (version 6.04) and analyzed using the SPSS software (version 15). Most (90%) PMVs indicated that they would be ready to cooperate with the national TB-control programme, if trained. Seventy-three percent attended persons with prolonged cough in the course of their career. However, 48% did not know the cause of TB. Only 3% ever-attended a train­ing session on TB control. Sixty-six percent completed at least 12 years of schooling with secondary school certificate. Eighty percent of the community leaders were happy with the work of PMVs. About two-thirds (65.6%) of the PMVs were male. The PMVs are positively disposed to playing roles in TB control. Given this positive disposition and their widespread acceptance in healthcare-delivery in the communities, they have potentials for playing a role in TB control in southern Nigeria.

Key words: Patent medicine vendor; Tuberculosis; Nigeria

DOI: 10.3329/jhpn.v28i6.6605

J HEALTH POPUL NUTR 2010 Dec;28(6):567-577


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How to Cite

Onyeneho, N. G., & Chukwu, J. N. (2010). Is There a Role for Patent Medicine Vendors in Tuberculosis Control in Southern Nigeria?. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 28(6), 567–577.



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